Nansen Academy

Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway

The Nansen Dialogue Network was established as a result of the dialogue seminars organised by the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. The Nansen Academy continues to be a central contributor to the activities organised by the network.  These seminars are an additional activity besides the regular school year for the other students, who are taught in Norwegian language.

The Nansen Academy is an educational institution for adult students with different political, religious and cultural backgrounds. The Academy is founded on the inheritance of humanism and aims at strengthening the knowledge about this inheritance. Humanism is understood as a basic attitude that can unite people with different religious, political and cultural backgrounds. Humanism is not defined once and for all, but is explored through ongoing dialogue. It is built on the acknowledgement of the unique value of each human being, its ties to other human beings and to history, as well as our responsibility for the surrounding nature. The active work for human rights, freedom of expression and democracy is highly valued at the Nansen Academy.

The Nansen Academy was founded in 1938, as a protest against the growth of totalitarian ideologies in Europe.

The Academy was connected to the name of Fridtjof Nansen who in his activities embodied essential elements of humanism: active love of one’s neighbour and freedom of thought. The world today is very different from what it was in 1938. But major challenges around the world still require our attention and commitment. Central themes in the classes are: Democracy and human rights; sustainable development; and peaceful conflict management.